In search of sustainable and profitable agriculture
Sixty researchers from eight European countries – Spain, Italy, Holland, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and Finland – will be working together with companies and farmers for the next four years to develop a viable agricultural model as a environmentally and economically beneficial and sustainable alternative to mainstream intensive monoculture. The objective of Diverfarming project, coordinated by Cebas-CSIC and UPCT, is to orient agricultural practices towards diversified models that work with nature and create richer agricultural landscapes.
Diversification allows to improve the quality of soil, minimize the use of inputs and increase biodiversity while maintaining the productivity of crops and reducing the dependence of farmers on a single crop. It increases the soil’s capacity to retain water and nutrients and act as a carbon sink, building resistance to erosion and allowing the soil to adapt to the effects of climate change and even mitigate them. The project team intends to generate conditions in which the soils are more prepared to overcome long periods of drought and are more protected against degradation. Diverfarming brings together economists, engineers, social scientists, agronomists, ecologists, biologists and geographers to analyze, quantify and monetize the benefits of locally adapted agricultural diversification for ecosystem services and agro-economy.
Diverfarming seeks to integrate and increase the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes, achieving a balance between the optimization of ecosystem services in agriculture and the economic benefits for the farmers. In Hungary, the project takes place on asparagus plantations, while in Germany the work is done in the vineyards on the steep slopes of the Rhine Valley. In Italy, the researchers and farmers work with cereals, while in Holland and Finland they focus on forage fields for cattle feed. More info (in Spanish)...
(c) Images courtesy of Cebas-CSIC